Mirko Tobias Schäfer / Assistant Professor
University of Utrecht Department for Media and Culture Studies


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Date May 2012 / Category News

The who is who of the German online world gathers for an annual reunion at re:publica. Since 2007 this convention provides a forum not only to meet face to face, but especially to discuss a broad range of issues concerning internet culture and its implementation into broader society.

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Date July 2009 / Category News

After more than a decade of the World Wide Web, the binary concept of a real and virtual worlds is finally  obsolete, and global networked computers are recognized as common aspects of everyday life. Furthermore, networks and software applications constitute ecosystems intrinsically intertwined with their users' social contexts. As heterogeneous as the plurality of users and as vast as their cultural production, the Web calls for interdisciplinary approaches to tackle the many issues emerging through using and simultaneously expanding the web.

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Date October 2008 / Category News

For the annual conference of the Association of Internet Researchers in Copenhagen I have written a paper on explicit and implicit participation. The paper is part of a panel assembled by Kim de Vries on Community, Privacy, and Power: The Complex Relationships of Web 2.0. The panel revolves around social networking sites. Elfi Ettinger presents a research on e-recruiting platforms and the problem of out-dated data, Anders Fagerjord speaks on practices of self-representation on Facebook, Christian Ulrik Andersen focuses on games played on Facebook, and Kim de Vries discusses ephemeral communication unfolding on Facebook.


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Date June 2007 / Category News

The Institute for Network Cultures is hosting a conference on networks and theorizing networks. Since the term network gained rather a dimension of epistemology and describes as a metaphor not only telecommunication connections but also the way we "live, work and play" it is necessary to reflect on its meaning and use.

The conference New Network Theory takes place from 28-30 June 2007 at the University of Amsterdam

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Date April 2007 / Category News

The 2007 BSA Conference evolves around the topic "Social Connections: Identities, Relationships, Technologies" (BSA). In collaboration with Bernhard Rieder, I'll present a paper on Hybrid Foam. Using Sloterdijk's metaphor of foam, we try to reflect social formations below the threshold of network and community. In Massively Multi-user Information Management Systems (MIMMS) such as Flickr and delicious we recognize social connections that are not sufficiently described with the metaphors of community, network or even the crowd (see abstract).

BSA Annual Conference 2007, Thursday, 12th - Saturday, 14th April 2007, University of East London.

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Date October 2009 / Category News

For 20 years now, the crew around Arjon Dunnewind has brought together artists and scholars from all over the world to present and discuss in an annual festival the latest in media development, reflect on trends and aesthetics in media art and everyday life. This year's edition of the Impakt festival in Utrecht, "Accelerated Living" is revolving around the experience of time.

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Date March 2009 / Category News

While Amazon's Kindle is a bestseller in the United States, Europe seems still a bit slow in taking up e-readers. Producers prepare for conquering the European market. The introduction of e-book readers and their eventual effective diffusion will transform the publishing industry. An international conference organized by Florian Cramer from Rotterdam-based Piet Zwart Institute revolves around the future of publishing, paper and the transformation of reading and the book in the digital age. The program is packed with exceedingly interesting presentations by designers, publishing experts, and researchers from the cutting-edge front of media development.

PRINT/pixel, May 12-13, Willem de Kooning Akademie, Blaak 10, Rotterdam

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Date October 2008 / Category News

The annual conference of the German association for media studies (Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft) hosts a panel with scholars from Utrecht University. Ann-Sophie Lehmann, Eggo Müller, Martina Roepke and MTS present four papers on amateurs and media practice.
"Hands On. Das wertvolle Wissen der Amateure. Kollaboration, Konvention und Tacit Knowledge in den digitalen Medien."  This panel presents concepts for analysing media practice without following the moral framework that usually celebrates enthusiastically the alleged user participation as revolutionary change in cultural production. User activities are analysed in context of social interaction, power relations, and hands-on skills as well as the role of shaping and sharing knowledge of technology. Using case examples from P2P file sharing, Flickr and YouTube, the four presentations discuss user activities as practice of design appropriation and as implementation into commercial applications.

Jahrestagung 2008, "Was wissen Medien?", October 2-4 2008, Institute for Media Studies, Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft

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Date May 2007 / Category News

The Amsterdam based Virtueel Platform is hosting a conference on the so called Web 2.0. Focus of presentations and debates are the promises and visions of participation, business opportunities and new ways of citizenship emphasized in countless glowing comments and articles. Not everybody shares the unreserved hype and critical remarks are published on the social-by-design buzz.
The conference attempts to cover the dissent and presents speakers arguing as oppositional as Charles Landbeater, an advocate for 'collective intelligence' and Andrew Keen, author of the Anti Web 2.0 Manifesto.
Virtueel Platform launched a 'Culture 2.0' weblog featuring articles and blog postings on the Web 2.0 and everything else with a 2.0 affixed, what brings up the question what is Web 2.0 anyway? Marianne van den Boomen gives a smart answer in pamphlet 1.

Culture 2.0, May 30-31, Amsterdam.

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Date April 2007 / Category News

The MIT Media In Transition Conference (April 27-29) is focusing on "creativity, ownership and collaboration in the digital age." The use of contemporary media provokes an optimistic description of the user's agency and the participation in the culture industries.  This bias makes several issues explicit: Amateur culture which accompanied the mass production of consumer goods for decades, takes place on a global scale. The culture industry is extended into user communities which co-construct products by changing, modifying and innovating. Besides an entire cultural production takes place beyond the conventional channels of production and development.
But the 'socialization of production means' does not necessarily change issues of ownership and control.
The concept of participatory culture recalls how debates on technology development were nourishing a technological imaginary of the consumer's "emergence from self imposed immaturity."
In my talk I revisit concepts of participation and relate user participation to the socio-technical ecosystem wherein the cultural production emerges. (read the abstract)

MIT5: creativity, ownership and collaboration in the digital age. April 27-29, MIT.

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2000 - 2022 Mirko Tobias Schäfer

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